This album has taken far more time to develop than any previous one. My children have grown since the Acoustic Midwifery album in 2001, and have contributed more to this one: my first son, Josh, has picked up electric guitar, my 2nd son, Beni, has picked up fiddle, my 3rd son, Amos, has become proficient at the recorder flute, and my 4th son, Peter, has learned to play guitar. Josh & Beni have had voice changes, and my 5th child, Grace Anne, has moved from composing nonsense to meaningful songs. Irene, my 6th, is now able to sing Alto in our family hymn-singing. Lilly, who was a newborn in 2002, drew the cover art and titled it, “Monkeys & Butterflies.” My dear wife has given birth to two more girls since then, and I have composed special songs for Hope and Aletheia for this album. This is my first album where there were more girls in my family than boys - I think the material reflects that. As I have grown to understand more the depth of God’s love for me, I have matured (I hope) into a better lover myself – with a greater willingness to lay down my selfish interests and cherish my wife, a greater concern for the well-being of my children, and a more grateful love for my heavenly Father who loved me enough to send Jesus to be “for me” despite my unlovliness. I hope that this music will encourage you to grow to be a greater lover as well. You can also listen to samples by clicking on the song titles. Samples are lower sound quality than the CD for faster downloading. ~Nate Wilson, 2007
Update in 2021: The Lover album was self-published on CD in 2007, but finally, at the end of 2021, I got around to publishing it on social media after having already published the Kansan Celts and Kansan Celts II albums. This is the prequel to the Kansan Celts albums! On this 2021 release, I replaced the recording of “I Hold Within My Arms Today” because we’re able to make much better-sounding string quartet recordings now that our kids have had more experience playing their instruments. I also added a bonus track “200 Years From Now” which was composed six years after the other Lover material, but fits well with the style and theme of the Lover album.
1. Fresh Air
Composed by Amos (Recorder) and Josh (Mandolin). Jew’s Harp by Nate.
2. Jesus, Lover of My Soul
In the Spring of 2006, Paula encouraged me to make one last recording of Josh before his voice changed. I procrastinated until his voice started changing, then got my brother-in-law, Nathan George, to record him singing Charles Wesley’s hymn “Jesus Lover” to my guitar accompaniment, using Simeon Marsh’s traditional tune. Months later, I added harmony tracks on mandolin and background vocals, then asked Josh to sing the melody once again an octave lower on the last verse, since his voice had finished changing. I also got my 2nd son, Beni to accompany on the fiddle.
3. Jesus Loves Me
This is my daughter, Grace Anne, singing the classic hymn by Ana Warner & William Bradbury. Grace arranged the harmony and sung it in 3 tracks. Her baby sister, Hope, sang the tag at the end.
4. Father, Father
The first time I heard this song was on a mountain in Yemen as my friend Mert Hershberger, who composed the song, sang it to me. In this recording, Josh plays electric guitar, Beni is on bass guitar, and I’m on acoustic guitar, classical guitar, and vocals. The drum loops came from Sonic Foundry.
Father, Father, here I come. I don't wanna run & run.
I'm comin' home tonight. Christ Jesus, make me right.
Holy Spirit, fill this place. Lord, I wanna grow in grace.
Let me be with you, and teach me all your truth.
Here I come. Here I come.
Father, Father, here I am. I will follow; I will stand.
I've found my destiny. Christ Jesus, speak to me.
Holy Spirit, help me pray. Lord, I wanna see the day.
Let me hear your voice, and help me to rejoice.
Here I am. Here I am.
Father, Father, here I go. I just wanna reap and sow.
I'm goin' out today. Christ Jesus, guide my way.
Holy Spirit, take my fear. I want the crowds to hear
Let me give my time, and make my light to shine.
Here I go. Here I go. Here I go.
5. Georgia Rose
This is a love song to my wife, Paula. It was composed during an intensive time of counseling at a marriage retreat when I realized how much I took her for granted and what a wonderful treasure she is. Jason Buffin recorded this song in his studio at Ft. Riley, KS. In this recording, my boys Josh and Beni are playing the mandolin and fiddle, and I’m playing everything else but the drum loops, which Nathan Clark George added using Garage Band software.
In the secret place He formed you, by His ancient plan that stood, Gave you to a man convinced by Moses that the Lord is good. My Rose was born in Georgia, blossomed by the Southern sea. Your Daddy named you little lamb, and taught you how to be.
CHORUS: My love I choose to cherish above anyone on earth, Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all in worth! You’re a marvel fashioned by the finger of the great I AM. You’re my Georgia rose, and you will always be His little lamb.
When I met you on that mountain I admired your love for life; I saw you roar, and trembled, and de-sired you for my wife. I respect you for the way you always do what you believe, And I couldn’t help but notice the way you looked to me!
How could I not have cherished you; how could I trade for anything? I’ve been a fool, there’s no excuse - oh how the sin can sting! My God, how could I be so blind? I’ve let her stain and wear; I have failed to tend her garden, and backed off when I should care.
What a treasure your Daddy gave me when he put your hand in mine! You are beautiful, my lady, your love is better than sweet wine! My companion, My best friend, who’s always with me in the fight, You’re the only one I want to hold when I turn out the light!
6. Song of Hope
I compose a song for each of my children after they are born. Most of these songs are on my album entitled, For the Kids. This song is for Hope, my fourth daughter. This is also my first recording with my new classical guitar purchased last Fall with birthday money I had been saving up for the last few years!
7. Beneath the Blood-Stained Lintel
A couple of years ago, the Southerland family in Carbondale, IL, introduced this hymn to us, and we immediately fell in love with it because it matches the longing we have for God to take care of our children. The words are by Henry Ironside, and the tune was composed by Samuel Wesley.
Beneath the blood-stained lintel, I with my children stand. A messenger of evil is passing through the land. There is no other refuge from the destroyer’s face. Beneath the blood-stained lintel shall be our hiding place.
The lamb of God has suffered, our guilt and sin He bore. By faith, His blood is sprinkled above our dwelling’s door. The foe who seeks to enter doth fear that sacred sign. Tonight the blood-stained lintel shall shelter me and mine.
My Savior, for my dear ones, I claim Thy promise true. The lamb was for the household - the children’s savior too. On earth the little children once felt Thy touch divine. Beneath the blood-stained lintel, Thy blessing give to mine.
O Thou who gave them, guard them, those wayward little feet, The wilderness before them, the ills of life to meet. My parent love is helpless; I trust them to Thy care. Beneath the blood-stained lintel, O keep them ever there.
The trust I place upon Thee, Thou wilt not disappoint, With wisdom Lord to train them, my shrinking heart anoint. Without my children, Father, I cannot bear Thy face. I plead the blood-stained lintel, Thy covenant of grace.
O Wonderful Redeemer, who suffered for my sake, When o’er the guilty nations Thy judgment storm shall break, With joy from that safe shelter, may we then see thine Eye. Beneath the blood-stained lintel, my children, Lord, and I.
8. Look Ye Saints
I wanted to make this hymn by Thomas Kelly & William Monk sound like a group of soldiers marching and singing with a fife and drum corps. For over 2 years, I played this hymn with my boys, puzzling over how to get that sound. After an unsuccessful attempt with a real bagpipe, I ended up using 2 recordings of Amos playing the melody on his recorder-flute and 2 recordings of me tapping on the head of my banjo to get the fife and drum corps. To round out the percussion, I pasted in some stock cymbal crashes and a 1-second recording of Irene hitting a bass drum. The vocals are by my six children, ages 6-15. Josh, however, was the only one able to sing the hymn at the right octave. To make the younger kids’ voices match and sound like men, I had to slow down their recordings. Peter did a bang-up job on bass guitar - on the 1st take! Amos is on Mandolin, Beni played Fiddle, and Josh is on electric guitar in the 4th verse. All I played was acoustic guitar!
Look ye saints, the sight is glorious! See the Man of sorrows now; from the fight returned victorious. Every knee to Him shall bow. Crown Him! Crown Him! Crowns become the Victor’s brow.
Crown the Saviour, angels, crown Him! Rich the trophies Jesus brings. In the seat of power enthrone Him, while the vault of heaven rings. Crown Him, Crown Him! Crown the Savior King of kings.
Sinners in derision crowned Him, mocking thus the Saviour’s claim. Saints and angels crowd around Him, own His title, praise His name. Crown Him!
Crown Him! Spread abroad the Victor’s fame!
Hark those bursts of acclamation! Hark those loud triumphant chords! Jesus takes the highest station. Oh what joy the sight affords! Crown Him! Crown Him King of kings and Lord of lords.
9. I Hold Within My Arms Today
This poem by M.I. Piatt reflects our concern for our children as they launch into manhood. They are too big to carry in our arms anymore, but now Paula and I are holding baby grandsons! The 2007 CD release of this song had Paula as the vocalist, accompanied by our teenage sons and friends (This is what is linked in the sample audio). The 2021 release of this album features our daughter Irene as the vocalist, accompanied by Beni and Amos, sons now in their mid-twenties!
I hold within my arms to-day a priceless bit of mortal clay, Divinely fashioned, and so fair, The angels well may kinship share. My soul with gratitude is filled, My heart with mother love is thrilled; My eyes brim o'er with new-born joy, While gazing on my cherub boy.
O precious one! Through tears I see a mighty task awaiting me. My happy sky grows overcast, Life's duties loom so grand, so vast. To shield from wrong, to right incline, This little life now linked to mine- Divine the gift. Oh, may the mould A heart of truth and honor hold!
Help me, kind Heaven, to know the way
From out the tangle of each day,
To guide him safe to manhood's prime,
And all the glory shall be Thine.
10. No Other Lamb
This is a favorite hymn of ours, written by Christina Gossetti with music by William Jeater. This recording was made by Darren Emery when our family sang at the CHIEF Music night at Faith E. Free Church, Manhattan, KS in April 2007.
No other Lamb, no other name, no other hope in heaven or earth or sea, no other hiding place from guilt and shame - none beside Thee!
My faith burns low, my hope burns low; only my heart’s desire cries out in me - by the deep thunder of its want and woe cries out to Thee.
Lord Thou art life though I be dead; love’s fire thou art, however cold I be. Nor heaven have I nor place to lay my head, nor home but thee.
11. Cast Iron
Beni wrote these words as a spoof on the cowboy song “Big Iron,” which we learned from a tape by the Flying W Wranglers of Colorado Springs. I know this song doesn’t fit the theme of the rest of this album, but hey, you’ve got to have a little fun! Jason Buffin engineered this recording in which he played bass and tom-toms on his synthesizer, Josh played mandolin and spaghetti guitar and sang bass, Beni played fiddle and sang the alto and tenor BGV’s. I played and sang whatever else.
To the town of Valle Frijo rode a stranger one fine day. Hardly spoke to folks around him; didn’t have too much to say. No one dared to ask his business no one dared to make a slip. For the stranger there among them had a Cast Iron on his hip.
It was early in the morning when he rode into the town. He came riding from the south side, slowly looking all around. “He’s a chef that’s loose and cookin’,” Came the whisper from each lip, “And he’s here to do some business with the Cast Iron on his hip.”
In this town there lived a cook who had the name of Pepper Pete. Many men tried to out-cook him and those many men were beat. He was quite a speedy cooker, though he was just twenty-four. And the notches on his skillet numbered 1 & 19 more.
Now the stranger started talking, made it plain to folks around: He was an Arizona ranger, wouldn’t be too long in town. He came here to challenge Pepper, beat him right off of his feet, And he said it didn’t matter -- he was after Pepper Pete.
It wasn’t long before the story was relayed to Pepper Pete, But the proud man didn’t worry; men that tried before were beat. Twenty men had challenged Pepper; twenty men had made a slip; Twenty-one would be the stranger with the Cast Iron on his hip.
Well, the morning passed so quickly—it was time for them to meet. It was twenty past eleven when they walked out in the street. Folks were watching from their windows, and their eyes were full of woe. For they knew this handsome stranger was about to be laid low.
There were forty feet between them when they stopped to make their play, And the swiftness of the stranger is still talked about today. Pepper Pete had barely spiced his eggs before the stranger had his flipped, And the stranger’s eggs were supernal from the Cast Iron on his hip.
It was over in a moment, the judges passed the eggs around. There before them lay the fact that their own Pepper had been ground! Oh, He might have gone on winning but he made one little slip: When he tried to match the stranger with the Cast Iron on his hip.
12. Merci Merci Jesu
A pastor from Burkina Faso taught this song to my family in 2001. My interest was revived in this style of music after a mission trip with The TentMaker Project to Uganda, during which I purchased a hand drum (played by Josh) & a thumb harp (played by Peter)!
Merci, Merci Jesu… de te cour (French)
Thank you, Thank you, Jesus… from my heart!
13. Baby Bottle Shuffle
I enjoy listening to Earl Klugh and Acoustic Alchemy recordings where the melody is played on a classical guitar, so here is my attempt at this kind of music. This is my song for my ninth child, Aletheia. Due to mouth problems, Aletheia had to be bottle-fed rather than nursed like her older siblings, so for the first time I got to pitch in with middle-of-the-night baby feedings!
14. We love You
Grace, who just started guitar lessons this year composed & performed this song. I added a second guitar.
You are God, we love You -we love you every day.
When I’m sad, you comfort me & wipe my tears away.
Blessed are the poor for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.
And You are our God, we love You.
15. 200 Years From Now
Nate collaborated with Joshua McFarland to come up with these lyrics in 2013 during a music workshop. After Nate performed all the tracks, Amos helped with production.
Oh these desires to be somebody better than I am
Trying to be a man the best I can – never good enough it seems.
O look around; What do I see? God, where am I now?
Looking for oars and spinning around – drifting out to sea.
If only I could blow, And blaze across the land;
If people knew my name, I’d probably take a stand!
But the mirror’s casting doubt, And time is running out;
Did I waste all these days chasing down a foolish dream?
Two hundred years from now, will my grandkids remember what I stood for?
Will I be remembered as something more than passing celebrity?
Two hundred years from now, will I be known for what I want to be famous for?
There’s only one verdict that matters, and that’s my Lord’s.
Herod the king, in pride mixed with anger had John shut up
In a dungeon of danger – though he had done no wrong.
John questioned his) life, but Jesus stood by him. Stand by me, Lord,
I’ll follow you to eternity – with courage make me strong.
“Let not the wise in wisdom glory, Or the strong man in his strength,
And let not the rich man glory in his riches,
But let the one who is boasting, Make his boast in this:
That he understands and knows me and what I delight!”
God forgive me for failing to cherish what’s in front of me,
For looking for just what I want to see, and not at what You gave.
You have made) me to be a father my children can count on,
A husband whose love can carry on – even to my grave.
“This is what is great: Love that conquered hate
By laying down His life for those He called His friends.”
So here I pin my hope, And hold on to this rope.
Don’t let me fall; I love you God, and I am yours!
16. Be Thou My Vision
While my children were experimenting with pentatonic scales on the African thumb harp, I was struck with the sound of this song. (Peter on thumb harp, Nate on bass.)
Please listen and buy the album on Spotify or OneRPM !
(It’s also available on iTunes, Pandora, Napster, AmazonMusic, etc.)